God leaves nothing to chance. Have you noticed? It’s no coincidence Noah’s destroying rain lasted forty days. Moses’ days on Mt. Sinai in Yahweh’s presence also numbered forty, and Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness. It’s only one of the golden threads in Scripture.
Another golden thread begins with Abel’s sacrifice in the Garden of Eden and weaves through every Old Testament offering with such intricacy that the Cross of Jesus Christ becomes the perfect atonement for all sin. Amazing…
But Cain couldn’t see Abel’s thread. Noah didn’t understand forty days was a foreshadowing. Perhaps Moses wondered why he was on a mountain for more than a month. And assuredly, none of the Old Testament folks had an inkling that their sacrifices pointed to the incarnate Son of God. Golden threads are often hidden…as was the one in Moses’ heritage…
Read on and see if you discover a similar hidden thread in your own tapestry…
Remember Simeon and Levi?
Leah bore Jacob six sons and a daughter. The daughter’s name was Dinah. Genesis 34 relates the heart-rending story of Dinah’s rape at the hands of Prince Shechem. Her older brothers, Simeon and Levi, decide to avenge their sister’s honor, slaughtering every man in Shechem without their father Jacob’s knowledge or consent. As Jacob lay dying in Egypt years later, he bequeaths Yahweh’s Covenant blessing on his offspring, giving a portion to each son—with the exception of Simeon, Levi, and Joseph. These three he treats differently.
Jacob gives Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, a full share of the blessing as if they were his sons, rather than grandsons. But Simeon and Levi get an interesting blessing, still bearing the consequences of their rash deeds in Shechem:
“Simeon and Levi are brothers—their swords are weapons of violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.” Genesis 46:5-7
Have you acted rashly, made mistakes, hurt others irreparably resulting in long-term consequences? Sometimes there’s no going back. There’s no rewind button, no do-overs. We walk forward with the grace God gives for the future, and we trust Him. Period. Though we often can’t erase the results of our sin, He’s the God of possibilities, able to make beauty from ashes…
Who is Moses?
Jacob’s family stayed in Egypt long after Joseph’s influence died. Jacob, renamed Israel, had sons and more sons, and they had sons, and soon the Children of Israel became slaves to the Egyptians—but the Israelites always remembered to which Son of Israel he or she belonged: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, etc. A Levite named Amram married his father’s sister—a Levite named Jochebed (Ex.6:20)—and they had a son: Moses.
A time for celebration? No. Because Pharaoh had ordered death to all Hebrew male children.
Perhaps other tribes might be compliant. Not Levi’s descendants. (Probably not Simeon either—remember?) Historically, Levites were the fierce tribe. Angry. Willing to fight for what they believed was right—no matter the cost or consequence.
“Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.” Exodus 2:1-3
Like Moses’ mother, Jochebed, we should trust the Lord while doing everything possible for as long as possible—and then fully hand “it” over to God for Whom nothing is impossible.
Who Are the Levites?
Yahweh delivered His chosen people from bondage, and Moses led the Children of Israel to Mt. Sinai. While Moses was on the mountain, hearing the Law from Yahweh, the Israelites convinced Aaron to help them fashion a golden calf to worship. When Moses returned from his mountaintop experience, he saw faithless ex-slaves dancing before a pagan altar—his own brother doing nothing to stop them.
“Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control…. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, ‘Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.’ And all the Levites rallied to him. Then he said to them, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.”’ The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, ‘You have been set apart to the Lord today…’” Exodus 32:25-29
The patriarch of the Levites—Levi, Jacob’s third-born son—used his sword in Shechem for savagery and vengeance, and it marred his legacy for generations. But here, at the base of Mt. Sinai, Levi’s descendants used their swords to vindicate Yahweh, and they won God’s favor for generations.
What about you? Is there a golden thread in your past–personal or generational–that God can change from a devastating consequence to a powerful testimony of His redemption?
- Examine a golden thread in Moses’ life and find a resemblance in your own tapestry.
- There are no do-overs, but we walk forward with grace for the future, and we trust Him. Period.
- The Levites were fierce, willing to fight for what was right. No matter the cost or consequence.
- Is there a golden thread in your life—some inborn trait—that seems to have caused you trouble in your life before Christ that has been (or is being) redeemed by your new life in Him?